Opinion: Social nets wrap: Sharron Angle and Harry Reid launch their Nevada Senate mudslinging
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He says she talked about “armed insurrection.” She says he’s “waterboarding the economy.” He says she’s “retreated to an underground bunker” and her views are “extreme, dangerous.” She says he’s “terrified” and a “whack job.”
Harry Reid, Nevada’s incumbent Democratic senator and the majority leader, faces Republican newcomer and ‘tea party’ favorite Sharron Angle in November. And they’ve already been taking some pretty good shots at one another on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter. Reid has about 10,300 Facebook fans and Angle just under 9,000.
A recent Rasmussen Reports poll gave Angle an 11-percentage-point lead over Reid, who’s been unable to reach the crucial 50% approval level this year.
Early indications are that both sides are prepared to go fully negative while using the Web as a key part of their campaigns. And Nevada columnist Jon Ralston reports that President Obama will return to the Silver State next month to help the endangered Reid raise more millions.
Reid’s Web presence, as expected, is pretty well established. Angle, meanwhile, has hired....
Reid on Wednesday posted the “armed insurrection” barb, citing an article in another national newspaper. Angle is quoted telling a radio talk-show host in January:
You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that’s not where we’re going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying, ‘My goodness, what can we do to turn this country around?’ I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.
Reid also posted Wednesday thatNational Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn said Angle won’t be speaking to the media ‘for a few weeks” – or until she can be prepped on the latest talking points to assuage concerns about her record (which includes sympathizing with a secretive right-wing organization known as the Oath Keepers, advocating that the U.S. leave the United Nations, opposing Wall Street reform, privatizing Social Security and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and shuttering the federal departments of Education and Energy).
The piece says Angle has been avoiding both the Washington and Nevada press corps while speaking mainly to conservative media outlets.
But Angle has been doing plenty of talking on the social nets.
She’s posted links to interviews with ‘Fox and Friends,’ the National Review and Rush Limbaugh, and posted that “Harry Reid is bragging about creating 300 new solar jobs for Nevada. Hey Harry, How many permanent, private-sector jobs have you created?...”
(UPDATE: An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated that Sarah Palin had endorsed Angle.)
She added: “We need to FIRE HARRY REID!”
Following her upset primary win over GOP establishment candidate Sue Lowden and Danny Tarkanian, son of UNLV coaching legend Jerry Tarkanian, Angle repeatedly tweeted and Facebooked her campaign fund-raising goals. She thanked supporters for matching her aim of $100,000, then later $250,000, then $500,000, and then into the millions. That’s some serious cash and, judging by former President Clinton campaigning for Reid last week, the Democrats are taking this race seriously.
Expect the Web-based mudslinging to continue in sandy Nevada.
-- Craig Howie
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Left photo: Sharron Angle. Credit: Associated Press
Right photo: Harry Reid. Credit: Associated Press